Hospitals and Health Care Facilities Counteract the High Cost of Low Morale

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Low morale is becoming an increasingly costly and risky proposition for hospital and health care administrators across the US. The Gallup Organization estimates that actively disengaged workers cost the economy $350 billion per year in lost productivity, including absenteeism, illness and other related problems. The health care industry offers an even bleaker picture, with some hospitals experiencing an exodus of employees, due to plunging morale rates. Employee Development Systems, Inc. provides employee development programs that improve productivity, increase effectiveness and instill a positive sense of responsibility in employees. These programs counteract the losses experienced by health care organizations that are struggling with a disgruntled and disengaged workforce.

Employee Development Systems, Inc.

Low morale is becoming an increasingly costly and risky proposition for hospital and health care administrators across the US.

Low Morale Strikes at the Heart of Health Care in the US
According to Becker’s Hospital Review: Business and Legal Issues for Health System Leadership, many physicians will assume greater business and management responsibilities in 2012 and beyond. While these may be highly qualified physicians, they are not always qualified managers and leaders. Their lack of confidence in their own management and leadership skills is exacerbated by the staff morale problems already being experienced in hospitals and health care facilities in recent years.

Growing Pains for Health Care Companies
Large health care institutions, such as Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas, are undergoing a cultural shift that can be painful in the short term but result in a healthier hospital, and therefore, healthier patients in the long run. In order to come into compliance with federal standards, it has made drastic changes in workplace expectations and guidelines. Because of these changes, Parkland has been faced with an exodus of hospital workers, making their nursing vacancy rate almost three times higher than it was a year ago.

Overall, institutions will do better without those workers on the roster. The more difficult challenge is bringing up the morale of the remaining employees, while they are overworked and learning how to maintain new standards and regulations of care. According to Dr. Thomas Royer, Parkland’s interim chief executive officer, “You can’t create the ideal patient experience when you have unhappy workers. I’ve got to have a staff that’s motivated.”

Getting Average and Top Performers on Track
Health care organizations are encouraged to provide focused employee development and leadership development programs, such as Increasing Personal Effectiveness or Professional Presence in a Casual World for employees or Communicating to Manage Performance for leaders. These courses can result in the kind of cultural shift that relieves stress and presses the reset button on departments and entire organizations.

Employees become aware of their own behavioral style, gain an understanding of their own motivation as well as the motivations of their colleagues, and how to utilize that knowledge, learn the skills needed to handle workplace changes in a constructive way, and enjoy the rewards of affecting positive change in their surroundings.

Once employee development programs that focus on positive accountability have been carried out, not only is there a cultural shift and greater focus on the organizational mission but patients will feel it, the staff will become more loyal, and the job of emerging leadership becomes smoother, because everyone participants begin to take responsibility for their own influence in the workplace.

About Employee Development Systems, Inc.
Employee Development Systems, Inc. is a Colorado-based professional development firm that was founded in 1979 and offers employee development, management development, leadership and professionalism courses and accompanying behavioral style assessments, surveys and other tools. Employee Development Systems, Inc. provides services worldwide to Fortune 500 clients as well as small to medium-sized businesses.

The organization’s mission is to enhance the interpersonal skills needed to perform at a more productive level, to develop a workforce that adapts to change, and is creative and innovative and to make the client organization the employer of choice. This is accomplished through establishing trust, building relationships and fostering behavioral change. Employee Development Systems, Inc. training and development initiatives address employee engagement, multiple generations in the workplace and the ramifications of social media and collaboration.

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Sherman Updegraff
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